Tuesday 15 August 2023

Cheltenham Ladies’ College invests in SISIS

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When the grounds team at Cheltenham Ladies’ College received investment for new equipment, Ross Spry, Head of Grounds and Gardens, decided that SISIS machinery was a good place to start.

Established in 1853, Cheltenham Ladies’ College is an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 11 to 18 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. It is consistently ranked as one of the top all-girls' schools in the UK.

Ross has been the Head of Grounds and Gardens for approximately fifteen months after joining from the nearby Cheltenham College. Ross and his team maintain all CLC’s lawns and sports pitches which includes lacrosse, athletics, rounders, and cricket. His job has been made that little bit easier after College invested in some new machinery, as he explained.
“When I first started at CLC a lot of the kit was old and it was apparent that several machines needed replacing. I’m pleased to say that a big investment was made and so I started sourcing new equipment.

“I’ve always been impressed by SISIS machinery and have used some of it throughout my career – particularly when I was a greenkeeper. I’ve found it to always be very good kit and it is always solidly made.”

His first purchase was the SISIS Auto Rotorake Mk. 5 - a self-propelled heavy duty scarifier for removal and control of thatch on fine and other quality turf. Its contra-rotating reel has specially designed tipping blades for a clean, consistent cut and maximum thatch removal to ensure excellent lawn care when the time comes to scarify.

Ross explained how he uses the SISIS Auto Rotorake Mk. 5:
“The Mk.5 is predominantly used on our big lawns and for end of season renovations on the cricket square. It is a great machine, and we find it is one of the better machines for scarifying the cricket squares. It has got so much torque, and it can get through the hard clay, more so than any other scarifier I have used.

“The Mk.5’s best feature is how robust it is. A cricket square is probably one of the toughest things you can put it through, and it doesn’t bat an eyelid.”

Ross was also adamant that he wanted a SISIS Dart. This independently powered vertical action aerator improves drainage, reduces turf compaction, thatch build up and increases the health of lawns. Powered by a 6.5hp engine, the Dart has a working depth of up to 100mm which can be easily adjusted from the operator’s position using the balanced depth control lever. The unit can also be fitted with a wide range of tines to meet the operator’s requirements.
“I’ve used the SISIS Dart at every venue I have worked - mostly on cricket squares. We always use it when we are renovating to break the surface up a bit, and I do tend to use it occasionally during the winter periods. We use the pencil tines, to keep the air circulating.

“The Dart is so easy to operate. All my staff can use it – and that is important because we need machinery which every team member feels comfortable using.

“Once again SISIS has not let me down.”